UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

MPs shoot themselves in foot over expenses

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The online release of MPs’ expense claims has only served to further dent their already battered reputation.

Forty-two days after the Daily Telegraph began to investigate MPs’ expenses the Houses of Parliament finally got round to publishing official details of them. Or rather it didn’t, as lots of key information was blacked out.

Britain’s newspapers spelt out their condemnation – in black and white – of this supposed exercise in freedom of information.

The Sun labelled MPs “Blankers”, the Daily Mirror led with the headline: “Blackwash”, while the Daily Mail posed the question: “Just how stupid do they think we are?”

Has “Auntie” got it right?

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After a week of media frenzy, the BBC hopes it has taken action to end the crisis caused by the crude prank call made by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on the latter’s Radio 2 show.

Brand has quit and Jonathan Ross has been suspended after the presenters left lewd comments on the answerphone of 78-year-old “Fawlty Towers” actor Andrew Sachs. The head of Radio 2 Lesley Douglas has also resigned.

Thursday’s front pages

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guardian1505.jpg THE GUARDIAN: Recession alert as Brown fights back

Gordon Brown’s drive to recapture the political agenda with a programme of new laws to create “an opportunity-rich Britain” was badly shaken yesterday by King’s warning.

“The nice decade is behind us,” Mervyn King declared in funereal tones, warning that the economy was “travelling along a bumpy road” as he predicted rising prices would put a squeeze on take-home pay for millions of workers.

Wednesday’s front pages

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times-wed-may-14.jpgThe papers are nearly all agreed that Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 2.7 billion pound fix for the 10p tax row is the day’s main story.

Darling seeks end to 10p tax backlash” reports the Financial Times, noting that the move will still leave 1.1 million poorer households worse off following the abolition of the lowest tax band in last year’s budget.

Tuesday’s front pages

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tel13.JPGThe cost of living and falling house prices, school tests, knife crime and pictures from the Chinese earthquake feature in Tuesday’s headlines. 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Abolish Tests for Pupils at 11 and 14, Urge MPs

MPs who say pupils are being drilled to pass exams to inflate schools’ positions in league tables rather than being encouraged to learn, are calling for some tests to be scrapped, the paper says. Story here

Monday’s front pages

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express12.JPGThere were further potentially damaging revelations about Gordon Brown from within the Labour Party, claims about the rising cost of living, as well as coverage of Manchester United’s Premier League title win on Monday’s front pages.

DAILY EXPRESS: Family Tax Up 51 Percent

The tax burden has risen by 51 percent under Labour and the average family now pays a crippling 20,700 pounds a year, the paper says. Story here

Friday’s front pages

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indie09.JPGAbortion, Ant and Dec’s award – that wasn’t, and the confessions of the Austrian cellar man dominate the front pages of Friday’s papers.

THE INDEPENDENT: Abortion; the Battle Lines Are Drawn

The paper uses just three lines of text and three pictures for its main story about survival rates of premature babies and its significance in the abortion debate. Story here

Thursday’s front pages: anti-social behaviour

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guardian.JPGThe latest initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour and an apparent loophole in airport security feature prominently on Thursday’s front pages, along with the Chelsea gun siege and the Austrian house of horrors.

The Guardian says Home Secretary Jacqui Smith  wants police to harass anti-social youths and make life as unpleasant for them as they do for their victims. Young thugs should be hounded and filmed.  Story here

Tuesday’s front pages

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mailfrontpagemay5.JPGThe destruction and loss of life caused by the cyclone in Burma features on many of the broadsheet front pages, while Chelsea’s win, which keeps the title race going until the final day of the football season, is promoted in all the papers.

DAILY MAIL: Abortion: Fight to Save 2,500 Babies Every Year

MPs will begin a fight to cut the number of abortions by limiting a woman’s right to have a termination for social reasons, from the current 24 weeks to 20, the paper says. Story here

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